It’s the best time of the year — ski season! And if you live in Seattle, you’ll be rubbing your hands together (in anticipation, not cold) with all the mountains you have to choose from.
Whether you stay on the west side or head east of the mountains, you’ll have a blast skiing down the mountains all season long. Start waxing your skis and getting those bindings just right now.
We all know that Stevens Pass is the best of the west (this side of the Cascades, that is). With 52 runs, night skiing, and a terrain park, you can find adventure here most anytime of the day and night. Plus, the Bavarian village of Leavenworth is nearby if you want to make a weekend of it (and yes, there’s plenty of German beer to be found). Drive time: two hours from downtown
THE SUMMIT AT SNOQUALMIE
The Summit at Snoqualmie is the closest place to the city to practice your turns. And weekday night skiing is perfect for those of us who sit at their desk all day. You’ve got options here, too — no matter if you’re more pizza or more french fry. The Summit is the family-friendly side where lessons take place. Meanwhile, more advanced skiers will love the challenges that Alpental on the other side has to offer, including the backcountry and Back Bowls. Drive time: 30 minutes from downtown
While Crystal Mountain is about two hours southeast from the city, many locals will argue it’s the only place to ski. It’s proudly Washington state’s largest ski mountain, and it shows with over 50 groomed runs. High-speed chairlifts will whisk you to the top of the mountain, where you’ll get an incredible view of the surrounding mountains before speeding down to the bottom. Drive time: two hours from downtown
It’ll take you about 2.5 hours to drive northeast of Seattle to Mt. Baker, but this mountain is the closest place to the Canadian border that you can ski on (wave ‘hi’ to the friends up north). The drive is well worth it — the area annually averages the most snowfall in the whole world. Plus, make sure to visit in February for the largest snowboarding race in the world, the Legendary Banked Slalom. Drive time: 2.5 hours from downtown
Skip the lines at Stevens and make the drive to visit White Pass. This small mountain only has eight lifts, but you’ll love being able to quickly go down the mountain all day. If you’re an adventurer, there’s a terrain park to practice your skills on as well. Drive time: three hours from downtown
Bring your tinted goggles because Mission Ridge is known for having sun an average of 300 days out of the year. With only 10% of the runs recommended for beginners, you’ll love advancing your skills here without catching traffic from the bunny slope. Don’t forget to check out the 100 Laps Terrain Park, where you can trick around the park via rope tow. Drive time: three hours from downtown
49º NORTH MOUNTAIN RESORT
If you want to camp out in the same spot for several weeks to master those black diamonds, this is the place to do it. We’ll call it rugged; it has only seven lifts, and the majority of the top of the mountain is only black diamonds. Fitt Tip: make sure to get a hot bowl of clam chowder in a bread bowl for lunch at the slope side restaurant when you’re ready for a break from all that hard work. Drive time: 5.5 hours from downtown
MT. SPOKANE SKI AND SNOWBOARD PARK
Some of the cheapest lift tickets can be found here, at $45 for a midweek full day ticket and $59 for weekend day tickets (that’s really cheap in skiing world). Choose from windy twists and turns down the mountain, or practice your speed with steep, straight runs going right down to the bottom. With only six chairs available, you’ll love the intimacy of Mt. Spokane. Drive time: five hours from downtown
**Updated by Kiley Beck, November 2018